The legislative assembly of Assam has unanimously approved the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, becoming the first state to do so. At least 16 of the 31 Indian states including the assemblies of Union Territories Delhi and Puducherry need to ratify the Bill, passed by Parliament, before it can be implemented.
“Proud that Assam is the First state to ratify historic GST Bill, which promises to transform India,” Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted at 12 in the afternoon. In another tweet, Sarma said: “Happy to share that Assam assembly has unanimously ratified the GST Bill.”
Once the Bill is ratified by 16 state assemblies, it would receive a presidential assent. Post this exercise, the GST Council will draft the subsequent Central GST, Integrated GST and State GST Bills. The Central government is keen to implement the GST by April 1, 2017, as it would send a positive signal to the industry.
The GST Bill aims at replacing all central indirect levies like excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax, as also state taxes such as value added tax, entry tax and luxury tax, by a single tax pan-India.
Under the GST, there is a provision for states to collect special tax during any natural calamity or disaster, subject to approval by the GST Council. (RKS)
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